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Things I wish my students knew...

I wish my students knew that…



  • I am on their side and desire to see them do well.

  • There is no short cut to the hard work of practicing.

  • Music can be its own reward.

  • We are confronted with who we are when attempting to master a piece.

  • We can become who we want to be through music’s inspiration and study.

  • Music is not reserved and owned by a select few; it belongs to everyone.

  • Failures are cobblestones paving the road to achievements, and are a normal and expected part of the process.

  • A new piece is hardest the first couple of days; then, it gradually becomes easier.

  • It’s not time wasted to keep trying.

  • Music may be given as a gift and can be remembered forever.

  • A sense of humor is key to understanding even the most serious composers.

  • Playing slowly allows the mind to process all the information, build muscle memory, and learn the music faster.

  • Isolating tricky spots and the surrounding transitions is the most efficient way to improve a piece.

  • Allow yourself to feel frustrated.

  • Remember the goals you met and what you did well.

  • While it is good to have passion about doing well in a lesson in front of a teacher, it is more beneficial for the student if they redirect their passion toward love of the music instead.

  • Let your teacher worry about how to help you develop; just bring your best preparation.

  • Teachers are students, too.

  • Good teachers want their students to do well. Great teachers want their students to become better than they are.

  • A good recording or live performance can teach you what it means to be expressive.

  • Repetition is necessary, normal, and offers freedom.

  • Some musicians favor learning by ear; some musicians favor learning by sight-reading. Both are good, both are necessary.

  • It takes experience to listen to yourself while you play.

  • Musicians live in the past, present and future all at once. Anticipate what comes next in order to guide the listener in the overall structure.

  • The best way to prepare for a performance is to play for as many people as you can before the concert.

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